The man who paints points to the wall
tells me about hunger and the exiles
the man who paints shivers in colors
he spews out his life when he coughs / spits blood
Vallejo is everywhere
squalor is red when it hits the wall
when they cough it up
it peers out the chest / spits and survives
the man talks about evictions, hardships
blows a hole in words
our father in the prayer the man is painting
he whispers in the night
and in the night, paints this poem
Translated by Catherine Jagoe
“Ramón” first appeared in the collection En la boca de los tristes (Montevideo, LoQueVendrá, 2014). This English translation was published in spoKe, Issue #2, October 2014, and is forthcoming in América Invertida: A Bilingual Anthology of Younger Uruguayan Poets, edited Jesse Lee Kercheval (University of New Mexico Press, 2016).
You can read and listen to the poem in the original Spanish here.